The Russian aggression against Ukraine has prompted Finland and Sweden to consider joining NATO. The Finnish Prime Minister and President recently announced that Finland will “apply for NATO membership without delay” as joining the Alliance would “strengthen Finland’s security”. This decision ends Finland’s neutrality stance in regard to NATO and Russia.
According to Swedish politician and Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers, “the events of February 24 changed a lot in both our countries. Finland is now formally going to apply and our government in Sweden will put down its feet on Monday, actually, so it's still formally not a done deal in Sweden but I would be highly surprised if my country will not apply.”
He added that until Russia comes to terms with its role in the modern world and abandons the idea of building a Russian imperium “Sweden can only do the right thing and that is to try to dent Russia any influence outside its borders, in Europe.”
The Swedish MEP also touched on Europe’s energy independence and the need to “stop buying Russian gas once and for all.” He stated that European countries “don’t need Brussels to dictate what kind of energy we should use in order to accomplish that [energy independence].”
In turn, Rock Rachon’s second guest, historian, journalist and EWTN Certal Europe manager Iwo Bender compared the current turn of events to the war between Finland and Russia during WWII, and the treaty establishing Finland’s neutrality.
He said that “the Finns have no illusions about the Russians and when they see that the Russians dared to cross the border of a sovereign country, and dared to wage a full-scale war in Europe they decided - ok, well the old arrangement is over.”
Mr Bender also emphasised that Russia does not want to participate in a free Europe where relations between countries are based on “freedom of trade and free flow of ideas”. In his view, Moscow under the leadership of Vladimir Putin wants to go back to its imperialist roots.
The guests of Rock Rachon’s programme were Swedish politician and Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers, historian, journalist and EWTN Certal Europe manager Iwo Bender and journalist Matthew Trymand.